I love drawing human faces, and it brings me great joy and honor to be asked to draw them. I’ll probably talk about this in detail in a future post – a condensed version of a talk I gave at the University of Sto. Tomas a couple of months back.
Anyway. I did a quick scan of my posts, and I figured I haven’t featured some of these commissioned portraits.
So here we are and here we go!
First up: my first commissioned portrait in grayscale (Game of Thrones fans, not that kind of grayscale lol). The client dropped by the BGC Art Mart April 2015 leg and contacted me a week after.
A friend also asked me to do a portrait of his close friend for his birthday.
My cousin who flies planes for a living tapped me to draw his son, my nephew Mado, wearing some vintage flying gear. This portrait was then used for the invite and other collaterals of his first birthday party.
An orgmate from college asked me to draw her in-laws – the most faces I’ve done in a watercolor portrait. This was hand-carried to New Zealand as a gift.
And lastly, my boss commissioned me to draw his mother – a gift for her 88th birthday. What is pressure. Hahaha. This is the biggest I’ve done thus far – 10×14 inches on my beloved Arches hot pressed watercolor block.
Once again, I can’t thank all of my clients enough for entrusting me to do their and their loved ones’ portraits. In the words of Jay-Z, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, you’re far too kind.”
If you’re interested in having one made, just drop me a message on my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers, guys!
I love doing portraits of people I’m a fan of as I feel that it’s a great way of expressing my obsession love.
I was recently commissioned by someone who’s a huge fan of celebrity baby, Olivia Manzano Reyes, the daughter of Radio DJ and host Andi Manzano and club owner and restaurateur GP Reyes. I regularly see her pictures in my feed, with friends who are fans gushing just how cute this baby is.
And I couldn’t agree more.
The portrait proved to be quite a challenge because I don’t draw babies regularly; I’m not that comfortable or knowledgeable with the proportions. But as they say, growth/progress lies at the edge of your comfort zone so challenge accepted. *sweat drips from my forehead haha*
The reference photos was taken from her first birthday party, which had a jungle theme. Palace Pool Club, which her dad owned, was decorated with tropical foliage and cute animal elements like stuffed toys. I was recently given samples of French brand Sennelier by Art Whale PH, and I was able to use Hooker’s Green for the background as well as different greens from Holbein. I also used my go-to paints, Shin Han PWC (also available locally via Art Whale PH).
Here’s a peek on the process. Photos were taken using my phone.
And heres the finished painting. Yay!
Belated Happy Birthday, Baby Olivia! 😀
And if you are interested in having something done, shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Now apart from conceptualizing and scriptwriting duties, I was also tasked to do the illustration for the giveaway (Thanks so much, D!). Guests went home with 3 variants of the bar plus other bath essentials all encased in a large box, which they carried in this tote bag.
For those who are curious, I used a limited palette of Shin Han PWC watercolor (Opera, Alizarin Crimson, Neutral Tint, and Indigo if I remember it right) on 140lb Arches hot pressed watercolor block.
The illustration follows the brand’s signature pose featuring Valerie Weigmann, which you can see on the One Wash Wonder Facebook page.
I posted a work-in-progres on my Instagram account, and there were two who commented that the girl looked like actress and singer Tiffany Hwang. I actually had to Google her. Ooops!
Oh, and I must say that the hero variant, Rose and Milk, smells really, really good. I’m not into floral scents as they make me sneeze, but this one’s never cloyingly sweet nor floral. Just the scent alone tells you how it will feel on your skin: gentle and mild.
The new Olay Skin Whitening Bar is now available locally, and if you want to learn more about the One Wash Wonder, check out the official Facebook page.
Note: Event photos are from the Olay PH Facebook page.
Let’s begin with the song behind this month’s entry.
Click play please.
I love Bloc Party so much, I watched them twice in a span of one week in 2013 – in Singapore and then here in Manila. I haven’t listened to their new album though. But anyway.
If you look at the context of the entire song, it’s about a love for a past filled with moments that we hope we experience again in the present. We yearn for, we search for, and we hold on to these moments because they give reason to the otherwise mundane lives we lead.
Sometimes these moments involve those shared with your dearly beloved, albeit unreciprocated and therefore, in secret. Often these happen quickly, but your feelings taught you to be mindful both in his presence and in his absence. You take note of everything. And anything.
Maybe it’s his hand brushing yours. The emojis he punctuates his messages with. The way he smiles while telling you about his recent adventures. Your split-second glances that make all else fade into a blur.
You bury your head, your heart, your soul in these moments. For they are all you ever have and all you can ever ask. Yes, they bring you pain, but they too bring you life.
“Just give me moments. Not hours or days.”
Easily one of my favorite lyrics. EVER. And tears inevitably were shed when I heard this live twice.
Anyway, someone asked me last month what’s my mix for Serenity and Rose Quartz.
As with the January entry, I still used Shin Han PWC watercolors although this time I opted to use a cold-pressed Arches watercolor block (I typically opt for hot pressed). For Rose Quartz, I used Shell Pink, adding in a bit of Alizarin Crimson for the darker areas. For Serenity, I used Lavender with a little Indigo mixed in it. I also used Neutral Tint for the hair and the darkest features of both faces. (Shin Han PWC is available locally at Art Whale.)
I then scanned the original watercolor painting and did a little bit of rendering on Photoshop. Click on the links below to download. Enjoy!
I’m starting a new project this year – one of the many ideas that are in my phone’s Notes app. I’ve been wanting to do this last year, but I thought of starting it this month because, well, New Year. Haha.
Every month I’ll be dispatching wallpapers of watercolor drawings using this year’s colors per Pantone – Serenity and Rose Quartz. These won’t be my usual portraits of pop culture icons, but perhaps something that’s more conceptual. Probably inspired by a song or a movie or a memory.
This month’s wallpaper was inspired by a favorite Jens Lekman song which I remembered at the time I was about to draw it. It’s sad I had to miss his Manila gig as I was somewhere in Laguna for a shoot on that day. Here’s the song:
The song’s pretty straightforward as it has only one line: If I could cry, it would feel like this. I love the contrast of the sad lyric and the happy melody. Also, it reminds me of days when you’d like to let it all out, but you can’t because you should act like you don’t give a fuck or the situation requires a higher level of maturity. And so you swallow your pride and mask your frustration with a hahaha-I’m-so-happy vibe.
Anyway, here we go. Just click on the links below to download. If you have suggestions on the size, comment below, and I’ll try to update it. Spread the word and enjoy!
Red has never been a favorite color. In fact, I don’t own anything in that color (except a shirt for work), but the only time I can take it is if I wear it in small doses, as in the lips.
And since it’s the season’s default color, I thought I’d do quick watercolor drawings of my favorite lip colors/combos and rename them with those that are season-appropriate.
Here we go (from bottom left)
Christmas Carmageddon. A color that reminds one of the terrible traffic caused by the mad rush to go to the next Christmas party venue or to the mall to shop for gifts or to pig out. Very dangerous. This is one of the reasons one should reconsider spending the holidays here in Metro Manila. Really.
Stop Right Now Thank You Very Much. Whether it’s the pseudo-diet or the continuous influx of deadlines, this is my plea. I need a break. Hear me. Also a lyric from a favorite Spice Girl song.
Smile Like You Mean It. Also a favorite from The Killers. A color reminiscent of dried blood which warns those who ask you awkward questions during gatherings that you devour people for breakfast, but in the spirit of Christmas, you’ll give them a pass.
Awkward questions and remarks include: “How’s *insert name of former flame*?” “When are you getting married?” “Don’t you want to have children now?”
Merry, Merry Merlot. Because the only Christmas spirit I have is the kind that comes in bottles and shared among family and friends.
There you have it. ‘Tis the season to swipe on that color although frankly, I use these colors all year round.
This is no beauty blog, but in case you’re wondering what MAC products are those: lip liners are Mahogany and Burgundy while lipsticks are Viva Glam 1, Dangerous, and Studded Kiss. Watercolors used are a mix of Shin Han PWC and Shin Han Professional Watercolor on VifArt postcards.
Now let me resume slaving in the kitchen, feeding my food belly, playing with old LEGO blocks while drinking wine, and taking selfies with my dogs.
Life has been incredibly busy the last few weeks as I have been juggling deadlines for my day job and for my other pursuits, i.e. painting watercolor portraits and turning them into merchandise (plus commissions on the side yay).
It’s Monday once again so I’m rushing to post this to say :
(1) THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone who dropped by, said hello, and bought my stuff at the BGC Art Mart last week. If your visit led you here, HELLO!
The Agatha and Zero Wooden Canvas prints was sold to this lovely Wes Anderson fan. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN! ❤
Also, both the James Reid and Jon Snow bags were sold out. Woohoo! Yay! THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Original watercolor paintings and Wooden Canvas prints as well as postcards are still available though.
This brings me to…
(2) … MY FRIENDLY REMINDER NO. 1. If you missed out on the Art Mart, don’t fret because you can still order my stuff and have them shipped! I just recently sent two tote bags to Singapore (which I sorely miss and want to visit for the 6th (?) time).
Just send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve also slashed the prices off my previous merch which you can see here. I’ve decided to not reproduce my designs anymore so here’s your chance to get them while supplies last. Hehe. 😛
Oh and in case you want merch in another form…
(3) Here’s FRIENDLY REMINDER NO.2: Society6 is on Day8 of its super awesome Nine Days of Nifty Gifties promo wherein SHIPPING IS FREE plus plus plus there are different promos everyday! Check out my Society6 page.
As of press time, they’re slashing $5 off on stocking stuffers such as mugs, phone cases, tote bags, etc. I already bought stuff, and I’m just waiting for them to be shipped here. Woohoo!
That’s all for now. The year is about to end, and I’m in review mode as well as prep mode, but do expect more posts once the holiday mode comes (which means we don’t have to go to the office until the new year).
Last August, I received an email that gave me kilig (is there an English translation for this?): I was asked by Jo and Kathrina of Wooden Canvas to be one of their featured artists.
I met them briefly at the BGC Art Mart last April. They print artworks and photos on wood, and I vowed that someday I’ll have some of my stuff printed.
The kilig also comes from the fact that I’m a fan of the other 2 featured artists: Wiji Lacsamana and AJ Dimarucot. I’ve been a fan of AJ since 2007, I think, and I’m so happy he was one of the guys behind the new branding of the UP Fighting Maroons – the sports team of my alma mater.
Anyway, I said YES, OF COURSE!And so you may now get my artworks printed on wood. Yay! These make great gifts, you know, because Christmas is coming. Hehe.
Check out my line-up by clicking the logo below. 🙂
And speaking of seasons that are about to come, I thought of creating a new artwork specifically for Wooden Canvas. I like drawing stuff and people that I’m drawn to and one recent obsession is Game of Thrones.
I’ll be honest: I didn’t get it at first. I refused to join the bandwagon. I just didn’t care.
I remember meeting my friends a few years back, and I found myself in the middle of a passionate discussion on who dies next. Being clueless and uninterested, I was left with no choice but to check on my social media accounts while chugging beer for what felt like forever. Hahaha.
This year, however, I noticed 2 of my siblings staying up later than usual to do GoT marathons. And just like my obsessed friends, they too were pretty passionate in discussing the details. This must be something, I thought.
And so one weekend, I pressed play and watched Ned Stark, King of the North, sentence someone to death. True enough, after watching the first few episodes, I was convincing everyone to come join me and get obsessed watch it. My mother finished the entire series in less than 2 weeks. Other officemates who I have convinced are also done. As for me, I have yet to start Season 5, but as soon as my schedule permits me to, I will. And once I’m done with it, I’ll start reading the books. The books have been giving me side glances from my bookshelf. Hahaha.
Also, I have requested my father who plays the guitar professionally to play the show’s theme on classical guitar. Yay!
So anyway, I decided to draw the most popular of the characters: Jon Snow.
I made one artwork, and I was okay until I had to paint the hair. It was so fugly I had to junk it and start from scratch. Haha. One of the things creative folks must learn and must be adept in doing is killing their babies. In this case, I sentenced this portrait to death and drove a sword straight to its head. LOL
I don’t know, but it felt right creating the next one. Here’s a little confession: I actually like my portraits undone, in that the other parts still need to be painted on and you can see the pencil marks.
I think I was able to execute his stare better, yes?
My original plan for the hair was to create fluid wavy strokes. It didn’t work out so I had to laboriously paint the hair, this time with many layers to create the signature Jon Snow disheveled winter-is-coming-and-I-don’t-have-time-for-a-haircut look.
Thoughts while doing the hair:
1. This is an arm workout.
2. I have naturally wavy hair which I leave disheveled on purpose so I guess drawing my own hair will be a workout too.
3. Despite being a workout and despite not being my favorite thing to draw, painting hair was a little meditative.
I used a hot pressed Arches watercolor block and a basic Rembrandt watercolor palette for this artwork.
I also took photos of the process using my phone. All photos were taken using my phone actually as I can’t be bothered to whip out my camera when I’m in the moment haha.
Here’s a time-lapse of sorts:
If you notice, the lighting changes. That’s because I painted this for several days in between my day job and sleeping. Hahaha. I stayed up late at night and then woke up when the whole world was still asleep. I also lost sleep watching the series, so it’s all good. LOL.
There you have it, Jon Snow, Hair to the Throne. Hahahaha. FYI: the pun is definitely intended. 😉